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The White House descended into a flurry of recriminations and meetings on Monday as staffers quarreled over how to control a deepening public health and economic crisis.
While President Donald Trump previewed a slate of fiscal stimulus options from the White House Monday night, other aides privately continued to debate the seriousness of the coronavirus. Officials, like Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, had been urging staff not to overreact, while other aides advocated dramatic measures, such as shutting down borders, stopping cruise ship travel and expanding travel restrictions.
Then there was the blame game.
One senior administration official blamed the national security staff for bungling the early coronavirus response. Other aides blamed the vice president’s office, which has taken the lead on the response. “The Office of the Vice President seems way in over their heads,” one White House official said, referring to the coordination and messaging. “They don’t know what they’re doing.”
Separately, some aides took issue with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, who’d dutifully stood by Trump during his Friday visit to the Atlanta agency and commended the president for his “decisive leadership.” Trump, for his part, continued to denigrate the media and Democrats on Twitter for overhyping the coronavirus threat.
The finger pointing reflects some of the broader confusion and mixed messaging that health experts say hampered the Trump administration's early attempts to stanch the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. There are now over 500 coronavirus cases in the U.S., and the death toll hit 26 on Monday.
Olivier Jakob at Petromatrix said Saudi Arabia was pursuing a “shock and awe” strategy to demonstrate it had the capability to raise supply faster than any other producer.“Saudi Arabia is going all in on trying to disrupt the oil market,” said Mr Jakob. “Over the weekend they signalled a price war and now this has gone straight to a volume war. The market does not need that much crude oil. They are dumping the oil from storage.”
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.